Laser Tattoo Removal Before and After: Everything You Need to Know

Once a strong taboo, getting your skin inked is now commonplace. Around 20% of American adults have at least one tattoo and 14% have two or more.

Unfortunately, with the increase in tattoo popularity, we’ve also seen an increase in tattoo regret, with about 1/4 of people with ink wishing they hadn’t gotten it. This regret is so relatable that shows like Tattoo Nightmare and Tattoo Fixers broadcast nothing but elaborate coverups. For those that want the image completely gone, though, laser removal is the better choice.

What can you expect from a laser tattoo removal before and after? What’s the process like, and can you erase a tattoo all the way? We’ll answer those questions and more below.

Before the Procedure

The most important thing you can do before getting a tattoo removed is research, research, research. All tattoo removals are not equal. Make sure to find a provider with consistently good reviews, plenty of experience, and high-quality equipment.

One thing that every potential tattoo removal client should ask is “what type of laser do you use?” If the answer is anything but a pico laser, keep looking. Picosecond lasers are the only type that can consistently remove all colors of ink from all colors of skin, guaranteeing you the best possible results.

On the day of your appointment, make sure you’re well-rested, hydrated, and not hungry. While most laser removal sessions only take 45 minutes to an hour, this will help you feel a lot more comfortable during the process. Remember to drink plenty of water before and after your appointment to help your body get rid of the ink.

What It’s Like to Get a Tattoo Removed

When you arrive for your appointment, your technician will start by helping you get comfortable either sitting or laying down, depending on where your tattoo is. They’ll then apply a topical numbing cream to the area to reduce discomfort.

The laser tattoo removal process involves holding the laser close to your skin and “zapping” the tattoo. While the numbing cream does mask pain, some clients describe the feeling as getting snapped with a light rubber band.

Each pulse of the picosecond laser only lasts one trillionth of a second, but it’s plenty of time to get the job done. These super-short bursts of energy break up the ink molecules embedded in your skin into tiny fragments. This frees them up so white blood cells called macrophages can eat the ink and lighten your tattoo.

This may sound dramatic, but you don’t need to be anxious. Your laser removal technician will make your health and comfort a priority throughout the process.

After Laser Tattoo Removal

For about a week after your laser session, you’ll need to care for your skin according to your technician’s instructions. It’s normal to experience minor discomfort, scabbing, and sometimes slight blistering for a few days as your skin breaks down the laser pigment.

Make sure you have bandages and a healing moisturizer on hand to apply to the area as it recovers. You may also want to avoid wearing shoes, clothing, or accessories that could rub against your tattoo for a few days.

Thankfully, the more sessions you have, the fewer post-treatment side effects you’ll experience. This is because there’s progressively less ink for your body to break down as the process goes on.

Because your skin needs time to heal before your next treatment, sessions are usually scheduled a few weeks apart. Many tattoos will look noticeably lighter after each one.

Laser Tattoo Removal Before and After: What Results Can You Expect?

Laser tattoo removal results do vary from person to person, and as such, the before and after of laser tattoo removal isn’t always the same.

The biggest surprise for most people when it comes to laser removal is how long the process takes. If you have a single small tattoo and very fair skin, you might only need three or four sessions to get rid of it. Large, heavy tattoos, on the other hand, can end up taking six months to over a year to get rid of entirely.

As such, it’s always best to get your tattoos removed somewhere that offers flat-rate pricing. Laser removal is an investment, and flat-rate offers help you plan your budget without any unwelcome surprises.

Each person’s skin and each tattoo will respond somewhat differently to the laser. If you’re willing to keep visiting for as long as the process takes, it is possible to remove a tattoo completely. If you don’t want to commit to a long process, you can also choose to lighten your tattoo only until it’s faint enough to get covered up by a new one.

Some people may also notice that their skin gets a bit lighter or that they develop mild scarring after getting laser tattoo removal. This is a normal response for some skin types and doesn’t indicate that anything went wrong.

Many people still prefer lightened skin and a small scar to the tattoo they had before. If you want to restore your skin to its original condition, though, other cosmetic treatments can help.

Do You Have a Tattoo You Regret?

We’ve all made choices we regret, some of which are more permanent than others. Thankfully, laser removal means that you don’t have to leave your regrets tattooed on your skin.

If you want a chance to become the perfect laser tattoo removal before and after story, visit Better Off Med Spa in San Diego. Our innovative equipment, transparent flat rates, and experienced team can help you achieve the fresh-looking skin you dream of. Contact us online today to set up your first appointment!